My name is Sherri Snow. I am the Executive Director the North End Music and Performing Arts Center and I inspire community members, especially youth, to experiment with artistic programming in their daily lives. I believe art can make a difference in youth lives, their development and their well-being. Art can also unite diverse communities like the North End, unlike any other discipline or focus in today's society.
I am proud to see NEMPAC programs lead to more community engagement under my leadership. These programs include musical education as well as performing arts events and special projects. The NEMPAC Children's Music Theatre Program serves between 30 to 55 students per year. The NEMPAC Opera Project, presented at Faneuil Hall, serves over 80 local professional musicians and performing artists each year. Our audience of community members, new partnerships with local schools including BPS Eliot School, St John Catholic School allow us to reach many more people and create new jobs for local musicians, educators, and other residents.
With these new programs, the organization’s annual operating budget has increased by 54% over four years from $206,000 in 2012 to $449,950 in 2016. Our biggest challenge right now is supporting all that programmatic growth with adequate staff and facility space. At this time, NEMPAC borrows space from other local community organizations like the Nazzaro Community Center and the ABCD Center. We also use after-school space at our local school partnership sites. We currently operate out of a small building donated to us from the Robert White Foundation, a foundation run by the City of Boston. In this space, we still see over 90 students per week in our private music instruction program. Our goal for 2016-17 is to find a devoted facility space that can better match our programming needs and be a place to continue building the relationships and artistic experiences for our community.
My vision for Boston's future includes preserving the music and the performing arts in our communities as well as supporting music education in our local schools. In our city, we have some of the nation’s most highly acclaimed music institutions such as Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory. These musicians and artistic directors deserve to be supported by our city and local communities in order for them to continue to creative quality, innovative programming - thinking 'outside of the box' as we say at NEMPAC.
What advice would you give to the aspiring leaders and changemakers among Boston's millennial population?
To listen the needs in your community and be sure to use your leadership skills to voice these needs and/or make change. NEMPAC started in 2001 by a group of local mothers who sought out artistic programming for their own children. They believed their community needed an artistic place for their children to grow and they created this organization. Today - because of the parents, musicians, educators, school leaders - Art is a priority and an essential part of a child's youth and development. Anything is possible - if you have an idea, are passionate and you have the support of your community, you can make change.
SPARK IMPACT AWARDS
SPARK Boston is Mayor Walsh’s millennial engagement initiative. Our mission is to engage the next generation of civic leaders and social entrepreneurs in the work of city government. From dedicated public servants to community builders and connectors, millennials are some of Boston’s most impactful citizens. Each year, the City of Boston celebrates the millennial contribution to our city with the Annual SPARK Impact Awards.